Analyview of “500 Days of Summer”

[Note: I wrote this a little while ago and never posted it, so you get a real post today. Enjoy!]

First of all, this is much more analysis than movie review. Either way, if you haven’t seen the movie yet and care about spoilers, this is your official warning. Still reading? Okay then. Watching this movie was a trip for me, because Summer seemed like a female incarnation of HWSRN. It was rough watching the poor guy get his feelings stomped on because I know how it feels to be with someone who is perpetually out of reach. Basically, Summer is a temp at the greeting card company that Tom works at and from day one he’s captivated by her. He convinces himself that she’s out of his league, but with a little prodding from his friends and a lucky twist of fate they end up dating. In the first few months of their “relationship” he asks her what they’re doing and she says, “Who cares? I’m happy. Aren’t you happy?”

RED FLAG!!!

Later on in the movie, Summer is at a bar with Tom. She’s sipping on a cocktail looking bored when another man starts hitting on her. She refuses his advances but he just won’t shut up, so Tom punches him and ends up getting punched back. Once they get back to Summer’s place she acts distant and tries to send him home so she can go to bed. Joseph insists on talking it out since he got beat up for her and she coolly states that they’re “just friends.” Tom is understandably upset- they’ve been dating for three months, spending all their weekends together, exchanging life stories and of course, having sex. He storms out but she knocks on his door in the middle of the night to apologize for getting mad. They have a bit of a heart to heart that ends with the following exchange:

Tom says, “I want…some consistency. I need to know that you won’t wake up in the morning and feel differently.”

Summer says, “I can’t give you that. Nobody can.”

Damn if that is not the EXACT same conversation HWSRN and I had right before I broke things off!

The one thing this movie taught me (well, the thing it would have taught me if I hadn’t already learned by experience) is that people who need labels have no business being with people who don’t like them. It always signals an unreadiness for commitment, because a person who doesn’t want the option of saying “Let’s just be friends” or simply leaving you without explanation doesn’t have a problem with being called your boyfriend or girlfriend.

But to be fair, Tom should have known better. Summer stated upfront that she didn’t want anything serious and she never cheated on him. Although they acted like a couple, she never led him on by talking about their future together, taking him to meet her family or anything of that nature. At the same time though, I can’t help but think it was a bit selfish of her to get involved with Tom. He was clearly smitten from the beginning and was always trying to get her to admit that they had a deeper connection. It should have been equally clear to Summer that he wasn’t capable of a having a casual fling.

Life isn’t like the movies, but they sometimes they’re awfully good at showing people what NOT to do. So have you seen the movie? What did you think of it?

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